Physics Society President Says Intelligent Design Should Not be Taught as Science

August 4, 2005

Marvin Cohen, president of the American Physical Society (APS), has stated that only scientifically validated theories, such as evolution, should be taught in the nation’s science classes. He made this statement in response to recently reported remarks of President Bush about intelligent design, which is a type of creationism.

"We are happy that the President's recent comments on the theory of intelligent design have been clarified,” says Cohen. “As Presidential Science Advisor John Marburger has explained, President Bush does not regard intelligent design as science. If such things are to be taught in the public schools, they belong in a course on comparative religion, which is a particularly appropriate subject for our children given the present state of the world."

In comments to journalists in Texas on Monday, President Bush said that intelligent design should be taught side by side with scientific theories of evolution in the classroom.

Presidential science advisor John Marburger followed up on the President’s comments in an interview on Tuesday, stating that “evolution is the cornerstone of modern biology” and ''intelligent design is not a scientific concept.'' Marburger also said it would be over-interpreting President Bush’s remarks to conclude that Bush meant that intelligent design should be placed on an equal footing with evolution.

The APS governing Council has long expressed its opposition to the inclusion of religious concepts such as intelligent design and related forms of creationism in science classes. Two statements, passed by the Council in 1981 and 1999, can be found on the web at www.aps.org/statements/81_1.cfm and www.aps.org/statements/99_5.cfm respectively.

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